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IRS: "Dirty Dozen" of Tax Scams Even Dirtier in Florida

Photo: The IRS is warning Floridians of tax-related scammers who attempt to obtain their personal information. Photo credict: Flickr Creative Commons/MoneyBlogNewz
Photo: The IRS is warning Floridians of tax-related scammers who attempt to obtain their personal information. Photo credict: Flickr Creative Commons/MoneyBlogNewz
February 12, 2015

PLANTATION, Fla. - Tax season is underway, with 1099s and W2s already in mailboxes and the Internal Revenue Service has also issued its annual list of the most common scams, called "The Dirty Dozen."

At the top of the list is identity theft, followed by potential tax swindles pitched by phone and email. Florida IRS media relations specialist Mike Dobzinski says beware of IRS imposters telling you something like this ...

"You owe 'x' amount of dollars. If you don't pay up, we're going to arrest you, take you to jail, deport you, revoke your license, and a whole bunch of threatening tactics," says Dobzinski. "The IRS just doesn't make these kinds of calls."

Other tax deceptions on the "dirty dozen" list include offshore money-hiding schemes and false promises of "free money" for inflated refunds.

Fraud is nothing new to the Sunshine State. The Federal Trade Commission reports the state leads the nation in the amount of overall complaints. Dobzinski isn't sure why, but he does know what to look for when doing your taxes - identity theft.

"Florida happens to be one of those states or areas where it is more prevalent," he says. "There's no question about that. From a tax angle, we're seeing scammers that are filing tax returns, you know, ad hoc, one or two or three at a time; a lot of them are multiples. Organized crime could be involved."

Dobzinski says the IRS has also made a special effort to alert businesses with large databases to take extra steps to protect client data.

Phil Latzman/Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - FL